Books Make Things Better
With the support of our partners and donations from the public, Children's Books Ireland has donated over 16,000 books to children and young people in family hubs, direct provision centres, DEIS schools, hospitals, homeless accommodation and services across the country. The Books Make Things Better book-gifting project champions every child's right to experience the joy of reading, regardless of their circumstances.
The Books Make Things Better book-gifting project began as part of a collaboration between the Arts Council and Children's Books Ireland for Culture Night 2020, encouraging families to open up Irish culture by opening a book together and sharing a story at bedtime. The Books Make Things Better campaign launched on 14 September, with the release of the Books Make Things Better reading guide, highlighting the best Irish children's books of 2020. An accompanying book-gifting programme supported children least likely to have access to a book to read by gifting 1,000 Irish-published illustrated books to children and young people in DEIS schools, direct provision centres and family hubs across Ireland.
The project was extended in December of that year, when we set out to gift a bedtime story to children all over Ireland facing a difficult Christmas. At that time there were over 2,100 children in centres of direct provision and over 2,500 in homeless accommodation or accessing homeless services, as well as many thousands of children in other difficult circumstances. We gifted a further 8,000 Irish books to children and young people in centres of direct provision, hospitals and homeless services nationwide, thanks to the support of the Arts Council, KPMG and Toyota Ireland. With the help of many charity partners – including Barnardos, Focus Ireland, Children In Hospital Ireland, and St Vincent De Paul – books were gifted to children and families across the country so that they could share a bedtime story at Christmas.